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Dundee United 1 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dundee United 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Dundee United scorers: Miller 7
Aberdeen scorers: Nicholson 48.

30/07/2005 | KO: 15:00

Nicholson strike earns draw in opener.

Aberdeen earned a deserved point on the opening day even though their two main strikers were missing through injury. Despite a good start there was a sense of inevitability when Lee Miller fired the home side ahead. Aberdeen dominated the second half and Barry Nicholson equalised in the 48th minute. The Dons had several chances to seal the win but the United defence held out to claim a point that their first half performance just about deserved.

Aberdeen kicked off the season at Tannadice and won the opening corner in the 1st minute as Smith and McNaughton threatened. Anderson steered the ball wide from the set play and two minutes later another flowing move ended with Nicholson firing wide of the target. United threatened for the first time in the 4th minute but captain Russell Anderson was on hand to clear the danger. United began to settle and striker Lee Miller was given a rousing reception from the visiting fans. Aberdeen went close again in the 6th minute when Dempsey set up McNaughton and the midfielder fired inches wide.

A minute later the Dons worst nightmare was realised when United won their first corner and Lee Miller pounced to open the scoring as the Dons failed to clear their lines. Aberdeen rolled their sleeves up and pressed for an early equaliser but found the home defence standing firm. Brebner collected the first yellow of the match for a rash challenge on Dempsey in the 13th minute and a minute later it was Smith who had a shot at goal, but once again he failed to hit the target. Two minutes later Diamond flicked on a Severin throw in, but there were no takers at the far post.

A second corner in the 17th minute ended with Anderson steering the ball wide of the target, but two minutes later the Dons defence was exposed and they had to scramble the ball clear for a corner. The corner was dealt with more comfortably this time and in the 20th minute Zander Diamond went on a run and was upended on the edge of the United box. The subsequent free kick from Dempsey was blocked by the wall and then fired back in by the same player forcing Derek Stillie into a save.

Five minutes later Aberdeen were again under pressure after Clark dwelled on the ball at the edge of his own box before the defence cleared. Then a minute later McNaughton hit a wild effort over the bar from distance. In the 33rd minute Diamond went in for a challenge with Stillie as a Severin free kick was delivered. The keeper scrambled the ball clear then required some lengthy treatment after landing awkwardly. Four minutes later Brebner conceded yet another free kick and Stewart was denied the equaliser as Richie blocked his effort as he latched on to the free kick. The Dons continued to press before the home side scrambled the ball clear.

Aberdeen looked for the equaliser in the closing minutes of the first half but the home defence stood firm. Diamond continued to make surges forward as the visitors continued their shoot on sight policy. Ritchie rescued United again in the 44th minute when he blocked a net bound shot from Scott Severin. A minute later a Jamie Smith cross was fired in too close to Stillie with several Dons players lurking in the centre then Stillie denied Nicholson and Ritchie denied Diamond as the dons looked to draw level.

Aberdeen almost gifted United a second goal as Esson and Considine were involved in a mix up in the opening minute, but the young defender recovered to clear. Aberdeen then grabbed the equaliser in the 48th minute as Barry Nicholson claimed a debut goal after being set up by Clark and McNaughton. The midfielder ghosted in at the back post and fired a low shot past Derek Stillie. United pressed to regain the lead, winning a free kick and a corner in quick succession but the Dons defence held firm as the red army continued their celebrations.

Dempsey went close in the 55th minute only to see his shot cleared for a corner as the play raged from end to end. Two minutes later a United corner was headed over by Archibald. Dempsey had a crack at goal in the 62nd minute but the ball squirmed inches wide of the target. Four minutes later Aberdeen had a penalty claim denied when there looked like a handball following a corner then seconds later Diamond fired a dangerous ball across goal that was missed by Stillie before being cleared by substitute Kenneth.

A late challenge on Russell Anderson in the 68th minute went unpunished much to the disgust of the red army. Fortunately the skipper recovered and was able to continue. Three minutes later a snap effort from Scott Severin forced Stillie into a fine save with Nicholson unable to collect the loose ball. Steven Craig replaced John Stewart in the 73rd minute as Aberdeen looked to convert their pressure into a winner but a series of bizarre decisions from referee McDonald did little to aid the Aberdeen cause.

Esson was then forced to make a stop from McIntyre in the 79th minute before Smith went on a fine run and forced a save from Stillie a minute later. Then in the 81st minute Craig headed a Diamond cross wide of the target before Winter replaced the injured McNaughton in the 85th minute. A minute later Clark hit a poor effort well over as United replaced Lee Miller with Colin Samuel. Aberdeen almost grabbed a late winner in the 88th minute when Smith latched on to a long throw from Esson but Winter was unable to convert the ball at the end of the move. Another chance went a begging in injury time before Craig fired a low shot at Stillie and Nicholson fired over in the dying seconds.

Match Stats:

United Dons
Goal Attempts 4 16
On Target 3 7
Corners 7 5
Possession 49% 51%

Dundee United Teamsheet
Stillie, Duff, Wilson, Ritchie (Kenneth  63), Archibald, McCracken, Brebner, Kerr, Crawford, Miller (Samuel 86), McIntyre

Bookings:  Brebner 13
Attendance: 12,404
Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee
Referee: Douglas McDonald
Ryan Esson looks to be impeded as Lee Miller opens the scoring at Tannadice.
Barry Nicholson in action at Tannadice.
Scott Severin challenges in today's match.
Another arial challenge sees Dempsey and Severin take control.
Jamie Smith wriggles clear of the United defence.
Jimmy Calderwood shouts instructions from the sidelines.
Nicholson acknowledges the adulation of the red army as he is surrounded by his team mates.
Nicholson is delighted with his first goal for the club.
Dempsey in action at Tannadice.
Chris Clark shows the United defence some of his skills.
Andrew Considine keeps Lee Miller quiet.
John Stewart in action at Tannadice.
Russell Anderson congratulates Barry Nicholson at the end of the match.
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead